Time really must fly when you’re having fun: this Saturday makes one year that I said “I do” to my favourite German.
I can hardly believe that it’s been one whole year since I legally committed myself to a lifetime of wurst and bier for breakfast, lederhosen in Oktober, and barrelling down the autobahn at ridiculous speeds!
All cheesy stereotypes aside, not much has changed since I became a frau, though the number of people who ask me, “So what’s married life like?” has caused me to think that perhaps something should be different.
Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that my answer strays from the perceived norm; me and Liebling’s relationship has been anything but typical.
After all, we met on Halloween night, in Hong Kong, at an Oktoberfest party (see our “how we met story” here).
Then we fell in love, but lived on different continents– he was based in London, I was working in Hong Kong– for a total of 3.5 years, nurturing the most epically long-distance of long-distance relationships known to man. Oceans separated us even after we got engaged and subsequently married. Needless to say we spent a lo000t of money on plane tickets and Skype credit; see my tips for surviving long-distance relationships here.
And then, when wedding planning started getting stressful, we ditched our initial idea of having an elaborate, 100+ guest event in Canada and instead semi-eloped in Berlin, getting married at a standesamt by a justice of the peace. We had a total of five guests, I ordered my dress online from David’s Bridal three weeks before, and due to a mix-up the whole 15-minute wedding ceremony was conducted in German (so if we’re being accurate I actually said “Ja, Ich will” instead of “I do”) which means my poor mom and aunty who flew all the way from North America on short notice couldn’t understand most of it. It also started pouring rain right as our wedding photographer was doing our pictures, which was devastating at the time. So while our wedding wasn’t the wackiest or most unusual I’ve heard of (peep a few of these experiences, they’re already giving me ideas for our vow renewal!) it was definitely a bit unconventional, just like our relationship.
And in fact, for most of this first year of marriage, we barely saw each other in person, though when we did meet up, we made sure it was fun (which in my lexicon, means travel-icious). After our rainy honeymoon in Austria, we had a second honeymoon in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, spent Christmas in Canada and Chinese New Year in Costa Rica. Liebling got a new job which required him to relocate to New York City, so I also popped over to the Big Apple any time my generous teaching schedule would allow it. It was only last month that I chucked up my deuces to Hong Kong and moved to New York City for the foreseeable future to be with my darling Schnitzel. Living together again has been an adjustment but I’ll be mushy and say that overall it has been bliss. Because, for real, my husband is the bomb, y’all. Blessings abound in our household.
And now, for our wedding anniversary, we will continue to do what we seem to do best, which is abscond to foreign lands. Next stop is the Caribbean– we’re jetting off to St. Lucia and Barbados for 10 days.
No matter how much we may travel, I feel like marriage is one of those ultimate journeys in life that tests your mettle. It is a test of patience, financial stability, and emotional endurance. Aligning yourself with someone legally and spiritually is an education in itself– learning and understanding their personality, rhythm, wants, needs, and what they have to offer is not unlike navigating a new city or country whose pathways, hills, and valleys ache to be discovered. To extend my travel metaphor, getting married is like buying a plane ticket, but the real success lies in what you do and how you manage once get to your destination– or in this case, after all the frills and thrills of the wedding itself.
So let me be totally self-indulgent and raise an imaginary glass to toast myself because Liebling and I made it through one year of holy matrimony! Here’s hoping we have many more.